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Digging into Jalen Green’s return for the Rockets

N.B. Lindberg
Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages
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Jalen Green, Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Where Jalen Green has room for improvement

If injury wasn’t the reason, this is where Green’s inexperience shows up. The Pacers quickly realized they needed to respect Green behind the arc and defenders wasted no time closing him out. There were multiple times when all Green needed to do was pump fake and his defender would have been flying helplessly past him. 

A more experienced player would have used their hot 3-point shooting night to penetrate the defense. Once the first line of defense is roasted, easy layups and simple passing reads open up. 

This play by Eric Gordon shows how much experience can lead to easy buckets. Gordon pump fakes and has an easy driving lane to the rim. Deception, not speed, is the best way to beat a defender. Green should look to his veteran teammates to improve in this area.

The good news is that Green flashed moments where he used his 3-point gravity to his advantage. In this play, the threat of Green’s shot forces his defender to fight over a screen and opens up an easy driving lane that Green takes full advantage of. As soon as the help defender comes, Green makes the simple read to get Jae’Sean Tate the easy shot at the rim. 

In this clip, Green, once again, uses his gravity to his advantage. His defender tries to stay right up on his jersey behind the arc which gives Green an easy opportunity to get a step on him, and once he has it, he seals the deal with a finish at the rim. 

As Green shakes off rust, gains experience, and feels more confident in his hamstring he’ll get better at capitalizing on his impressive 3-point shooting range. The best scorers in the league produce points even when they don’t have their shot. Green has all the traits to be that type of player, he just needs to continue to get reps against the best players in the world.  

Jalen Green looks poised to shake off his slow start. Score first guards traditionally take time to adjust to the NBA. The first 18 games were bad, but the next 18 should be better, and the 18 after that should have the whole league on notice.

Next. How Jalen Green will fit with the new-look Rockets. dark

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